This was going to have to be the bedrock if the Tigers were going to meet the expectations that come with a division title—four-fifths of that rotation has delivered.
Anibal Sanchez has proven to be the best of the bunch early.
At 3-1, he has an ERA of 1.34, not allowed a home run so far and a rotation-best 7 hits allowed per nine innings.
Max Scherzer has a team high 46 strikeouts and a 3-0 record.
Even with an impressive 13.2 strikeouts per nine rate, he may be throwing too many strikes as his 8.3 hits per nine is the highest rate of anyone not named Rick Porcello. His ERA of 4.02 is not bad, but not great either.
Doug Fister is trusting his defense behind him to do their job.
At 4-0, his 2.38 ERA in five starts is outstanding. However, he has hit eight batters.
He is pitching better than his 3-2 record. With a 1.83 ERA in six starts, he is his usual workhorse self. Still, the velocity on the fastball is down a bit and his 2.5 walks per nine is the worst on the starting staff.
Then there is Rick Porcello.
An 8.84 ERA is not worthy of being in any rotation. His 19 earned runs allowed is more than Verlander and Sanchez combined.